It is a horse day. Usually tumultuous, the sea is a grey sheen of deathly pallor, and so still. Glass still. Unnaturally so – assuming anything in this place could properly be called natural.
The sky is also grey. This is perfectly normal. The sky is a cold, untarnished steel grey polished smooth and hanging over the sea, each a mirror of the other, passing grey smoothness back and forth into infinity.
In other times and places it is the lively rush of sea foam that gives birth to surf horses. Here, where the usual rules are seldom honoured, horses are most often born in stillness and in silence. They come from the waves that never were. The sea undulates softly with them. Grey explodes into vivid green and vibrant blue. Where colour infects the placid sheet of the poised and waiting sea, the horses come. Proud and wild, ferocious and terrifying. They are like no horse you have ever seen, and yet still they are pure horse; nostrils flaring, flanks powerful, tails flicking water to make brief, unlikely rainbows in the air.
If they come to you at dawn or sunset, catching shards of light from a distant horizon, they may seem more real than anything else. On this island of misty greys and insubstantial, haunting things, the horses in the water may look more substantial and more trustworthy than the uneven sand beneath your feet.
They speak of other ways of being, these horses. They say, in whispers you can almost hear, that if there can be horror, why can there not also be delight? Look into their deep, soulful eyes for the delight they promise. Look into their tooth sharp not so equine mouths for the horror they are capable of. They are beautiful and they are grotesque, between the sea and the sky in this dire and perfect moment.
Catch one if you dare. Rise it in search of dreams. You can never return. Whether you have left the island with them is another question entirely. The sea is vast, and deep, and very cold.
Art by Dr Abbey.
Thanks to Potia for the inspiration for this blog post.